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Author: Emily

Hey gals + guys! The etiquette queries have been coming fast and furious lately, so I thought we’d answer a trio of conundrums on the blog today.

First, Katie:

My soon-to-be fiance and I plan to have a very small wedding in my hometown. As it is not easy to get there (expensive to fly in, nowhere nearby to stay, easy to get lost on country roads), we will only be inviting family and our very, very dearest friends. After the honyemoon, we plan to have a big reception in Dallas, where we both live. My question is: do I wear my wedding dress? It seems a little odd to me to wear it, when it is not the day of the wedding, but, on the other hand, I want to wear something special and still feel like a “bride.” Help!

This is one situation where, in my opinion, there isn’t any hard and fast etiquette, just encouragement to do whatever makes you feel happiest! You can’t say that about every situation you find yourself in during wedding planning, so enjoy it! :) I would say that if you love your wedding dress and want to wear it a second time, go for it. Might as well get as much use out of that sucker as you can, right?! I’m bolstered by the fact that your Dallas reception is going to be large, so it’s not like you’re going to be sitting around in your living room with a few friends in your wedding dress… which might be a little awkward!

That being said, you absolutely have the option of wearing something else. Though no one will forget you’re the bride even if you’re wearing jeans, I’d suggest a LWD (Little White Dress) for the occasion. There are perfect options either off the rack or from the line of a designer like Amsale or Romona Keveza.

Next, Bonnie, who wanted to hear more about the intricacies of addressing envelopes to dentists, academics, and medical doctors.

Are dentists considered medical doctors so that I may write out Doctor Campbell v. Dr. Campbell? I have used Dr. for all academic doctors and Doctor for all medical doctors, but where do dentists fit? If the correct version is Doctor, then is it The Doctor Campbell or just Doctor Campbell?

Actually, the doctor title should always be abbreviated on an invitation, and dentists are welcome to use this title, as well. For a male medical doctor or dentist, you would say “Dr. and Mrs. John Smith.” For a female medical doctor or dentist, you would say “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith” or “Mr. John Smith and Dr. Kara Smith,” depending on whether or not she retains her title socially.

I have two dentists married (Oliver Campbell and Catharine Campbell). Do I say “The Doctors Campbell” or “The Doctors Oliver Campbell”? Or something else?

I like either the simplicity of “The Doctors Campbell” or the egalitarianism of “The Doctors Oliver and Catharine Campbell.” Your choice!

Our last question of the day comes from Morgan:

My fiance and I are eloping — minus the destination and surprise part. Next spring we are having a lovely private ceremony in Dallas at the chapel my parents were married in. It will be just our parents and siblings in attendance. However, quite a few “close” friends have announced displeasure at our decision. Bless their hearts, they feel they need to BE there. As a result, our wedding date has remained fairly secret. Our plan is to send out formal wedding announcements on our wedding day, each with an enclosure inviting the guest to a full reception about 6 weeks later. The tricky part is, how should we word it to appease my very proper family? We will be using the formal announcement from Ms. Post, but the reception invitation is a little harder. Can it be worded like a typical reception insert? Does it need to be formally worded like an invitation (i.e. Mr. and Mrs. X invite you to a reception in honor of Mr. And Mrs. Y?) If it is formal, is it strange that the wording is almost the same as the announcement that’s also included? Does it go in a separate enclosure envelope? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Hi, Morgan! First, Katharine and I agree that the reception information/invitation should be separate from the wedding announcement, since guests weren’t invited to the ceremony. In terms of wording, I think very simplephrasing would complement the formality of the announcement without being repetitive. Try something like this:

Celebrate with the newlyweds / at a reception in their honor / Saturday, June 15 / at five o’clock / 123 Main Street / Dallas, Texas / The favour of a reply is requested

I’d follow the format of an invitation but remove the majority of the names for redundancy’s sake. Readers, if you have another suggestion for Morgan, I’m sure she’d love to hear it! And, of course, if any of you have etiquette issues of your own, feel free to email me and we’ll hash them out here!

All photos c/o Cooper Carras

emily Written with love by Emily
1 Comment
  1. avatar Meredith reply

    I got married in a small town in Virginia, but my husband and I had a lot of college friends that wouldn’t be able to come from Oklahoma. So we had a reception in his hometown of Lawton, OK. I wore my wedding dress to give people who were unable to come to the wedding a taste of what it was like. We used the same color themes at the reception and we also reused a lot of the decorations that we used in VA!

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So sorry for the late posting, SW ladies + gents! Today I have a fun little story from a lovely SW reader. Kara ordered a copy of V3, which we sent out, but that was sadly returned to our office for unknown reasons a few days later. I emailed her, asking for another address, and she suggested we send it to her boyfriend. Which we did. You still with me?

I was tickled to receive the most adorable email a few days later from Miss Kara, and this is what it said:

Hi Emily,

I just wanted to let you know that I got the V3 yesterday (Saturday) morning. My boyfriend and I were walking out the door to enjoy a gorgeous fall morning in downtown Grand Rapids. I opened the door, and giggled with excitement as the magazine was sitting there on the door step. Steve was unusually anxious to get going, so he told me I would have to look at the magazine later. We stopped at the Starbucks on the corner, got our coffee, and continued down to the river. As we looked at the rive, he kissed my cheek. When I turned back around, a RING was on his pinkie finger, just staring right at me. He turned me around and got down on his knee! Long story short, after proposing (I said YES!), he surprised me by taking me down to Chicago for the night. I was thrilled to take along my SWM to read, not as a girlfriend, but as a fiancee. :) Perfect timing. Thanks again — it’s perfect!

Kara


Kara and Steve sent along several photos taken by their friend Jill DeVries, including a few from the exact spot on the bridge where Steve proposed. Aren’t they adorable?!

Congratulations, Kara + Steve, from the whole SW team! And, ladies who are anxiously waiting to be proposed to, you know what this means, right? Order a copy of SW and a ring might be right behind!

emily Written with love by Emily
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Hey SW mavens! Did y’all have a pretty/spooky/fabulous Halloween? I think Katharine is still on a high from the one holiday a year at least partially dedicated to the consumption of candy. But on to all things etiquette! Today’s query comes from a reader who’s planning a wedding in Greensboro:

“My wedding is next May in Greensboro, NC. My future husband and his groomsmen (including his father, who is best man) are all wearing light khaki suits. My family is confused about what my father should wear. Should he purchase the same “stone” colored suit to match the men in the bridal party? Or, since he is not technically a part of the groom’s party, should he wear a classic black suit? Our wedding is at 5pm indoors in a church. And while our ceremony is traditional, my groom was set on wearing the light khaki suits. To complicate things a little more, I have a step father. My mother feels that my step father should definitely wear a black suit, since he will not be playing an official role in the bridal party or wedding. Do you think this makes sense?”

Great question! It’s hard enough to coordinate a bridal party these days, isn’t it? Add in all the other moving family parts and things can get tricky pretty quickly, sartorially speaking. If your father wants to match the groom and his men and your groom (and his father, I suppose) were fine with that, I would say that’s an excellent option. You won’t need to worry about finding another appropriate outfit, and everyone is guaranteed to look cohesive.

I also love, however, when the parent on either side doesn’t match exactly but coordinates. Perhaps your Dad could wear the same suit, but a different tie (still within your color scheme, of course). Or, conversely, maybe he could wear a black suit but the same tie as the groomsmen. To give you an example, the groom and groomsmen at my sister’s wedding this summer wore khaki pants, a navy blazer, and a navy and yellow tie. My Dad wore the same thing. The groom’s Dad, however, wore a khaki corduroy blazer and navy pants along with the navy and yellow tie. My Mom wore a blue dress, and the mother of the groom wore yellow. Everyone looked (both together and individually) fantastic!

If you’re worried about the black suit looking too harsh or overly formal next to the khaki, I’d suggest a gray suit. The same goes for your step father: gray or black is perfect, and though he could choose to coordinate his accessories in some way to your color scheme, it’s not necessary.

I hope that answers your question! Readers, what do you think? Weigh in in the comments section! And if you have an etiquette conundrum of your own, don’t hesitate to email me at emily at iloveswmag dot com.

Photo in post by Kate Murphy. Photos in header by Millie Holloman.

emily Written with love by Emily
4 Comments
  1. avatar Adrienne reply

    On the subject of having the groom’s father as the best man, must he also wear the same thing as the groomsmen? Is it it appropriate for him to wear something else? I ask because my groom will be in a charcoal suit, my groomsmen in a lighter gray, and my father in black. Would it be too distracting at the altar and in photos with so many disparate colors?

  2. avatar Madolyn smith reply

    Hi,
    I am getting married in October 2016. My wedding colors are rose pink (blush) for the bridesmaids and the groom and groomsmen will wear a navy suit . I am confused on what the fathers should wear ? Do they also wear navy suits just with a diff tie or should my dad wear a darker grey suit ?

  3. avatar Step Mother Of The Groom Dress Etiquette | Supreme Wedding Dress reply

    […] Southern Etiquette :: Father of the Bride Attire – But on to all things etiquette! Today’s query … And while our ceremony is traditional, my groom was set on wearing the light khaki suits. To complicate things a little more, I have a step father. My mother feels that my step father should definitely … […]

  4. avatar Step Mother Of The Groom Dress Etiquette | Get Beautiful Wedding Dresses reply

    […] Southern Etiquette :: Father of the Bride Attire – But on to all things etiquette! Today’s query … And while our ceremony is traditional, my groom was set on wearing the light khaki suits. To complicate things a little more, I have a step father. My mother feels that my step father should definitely … […]

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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